Illustrations of life on earth and in the sea on stamp sheetlet

postzegels leven in de noordzee

The Hague, 11 July 2017 – PostNL will issue the ‘Life in the North Sea’ commemorative stamp sheetlet on Monday 17 July. This contains illustrations of plants and animals found in the North Sea region, drawn by four scientific illustrators from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden.

The ten ‘Life in the North Sea’ stamps depict five important North Sea region inhabitants. These are a northern gannet in the air, a tub gurnard in the sea and a brown crab in the surf. There is bladder wrack and seaweed on the tide line. And on the beach there are Baltic clams, cut through shells and the egg case of a spotted ray. These individual illustrations are set against a background image of the North Sea, which covers the entire sheetlet.

Natural history objects on stamps

Edwin van Huis, General Director of Naturalis, is delighted with the new stamp issue of these special plant and animal illustrations. “You can see how beautiful nature is on these stamps. These are very common animals and plants that we can see by the sea every day. Our illustrators have captured these beautifully. Naturalis aims to present the beauty of nature to all people in the Netherlands. There is no better way to do this than via something we all use, stamps.”

Illustrations in the North Sea

Ludo Voorn, PostNL Marketing Director about the new stamps: “The level of detail of the plants and animals depicted on this stamp sheetlet is impressive. For example, illustrators Bas Blankevoort, Erik Jan Bosch, Inge van Noortwijk and Esmée Winkel counted the scales of fish and drew the gannet in flight so that they could emphasise all the important features in their illustrations. They then did this with the sky, sea, beach, surf or tide line as background.”


Each ‘Life in the North Sea’ stamp sheetlet consists of ten stamps marked with ‘Nederland 1’, which can be used for items weighing up to 20g destined for mail in the Netherlands. These stamps will be available from 17 July at all Bruna shops and via The stamps are valid until further notice.